Advertisement
Columns

Winning the Plate is good for morale

Advertisement

We ought to be proud of the Flames for winning the Cosafa Plate because we haven’t won anything since 1988 when we lifted the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge.

We then had to part ways with the East and Central African grouping and join the Confederation of South Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) but ever since 1997, the best the Flames have ever achieved is reaching the final twice.

The format of the Cosafa Cup keeps changing and now the Plate was introduced for the four teams that lose in the quarterfinals.

Advertisement

It’s very unfortunate and painful at the way the Flames lost to Mozambique through post-match penalties when they were just a few seconds from reaching the semifinal only if they had not lost concentration in those few seconds left.

That experience must have made the players bitter with themselves and thus they made sure they win the Plate by beating South Africa in the semifinal and Zambia in the final.

They played very well against Zambia, who were equally very tough opponents. That performance should make our next opponents Zimbabwe in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to be cautious when we meet in just two weeks time (June 13) here at home.

Advertisement

The qualifying group of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Guinea and Swaziland is not an easy ride at all. Only the group winners go through and to be doubly sure of qualification, the Flames need to win all games — nothing short of that.

We need to beat Zimbabwe on June 13 as well as Swaziland on September 5. Before facing Swaziland, a high profile friendly game should be arranged for the Flames to keep them in shape as well as before meeting Guinea on March 25 next year.

The Flames can easily intimidate Zimbabwe, who were ousted from Cosafa Cup after 4-1 loss to the eventual winners, Namibia.

This is the time the Flames should show some mettle by qualifying on a 100 percent record. The inclusion of the foreign-based players, Esau Kanyenda, Robert Ng’ambi, Atusaye Nyondo, Joseph Kamwendo and Harry Nyirenda should not be automatic — they should fight for their place.

We have a team in place and should not be disturb for the sake of using the experienced foreign-based players. Yes, experience is the teacher but they have to earn their place in the team. They have disappointed before and shouldn’t be treated like semi-gods.

Look, the foreign-based players will only join the team in the week before the game while the Cosafa squad would have been in camp for one week. It can be frustrating for the lads who will have worked too hard to earn a place only to be replaced by a foreign-based player, who go on and perform badly.

Coach Young Chimodzi should choose a strong and a winning squad throughout the campaign. All the three teams are obstacles in this group and we should be well focused to beat them all.

The faithful fans will be there in their sea of red to give the extra impetus — that you are assured. The fans celebrated winning the Plate like we have won the main cup itself and they expect to see good things throughout the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers starting with a win against Zimbabwe in two weeks time.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Advertisement
Show More
Advertisement

Related Articles

Check Also

Close
Back to top button
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker